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Archive for April 24th, 2013

Utica Trustee Dies In Office

Posted by wlpo on April 24, 2013

Already dealing with the hardship of record flooding, the village of Utica now has lost a leader.

Village Trustee Shelba Bimm has died.  Bimm was elected to the village board in April 2011.  She was a retired school teacher and a member of the Utica Ambulance District for over 30 years.  She was recently honored with the “Lifetime Service Award” for her time and involvement in the Utica community.

Utica Fire Chief Gary Gbur says Bimm “served as a mentor and role model for many of today’s active EMT’s and Paramedics and was always there to teach, guide and advise”.

Services for Shelba Bimm are still pending.

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L-P Going To Try Electric Aggregation

Posted by wlpo on April 24, 2013

One advantage to running a school district versus a city or county is you don’t have to ask the voters if they want electric aggregation.  A school board can choose to try it on their own.

The L-P School Board is hiring Integrys Energy Services to negotiate lower electric rates for the part of the high school that’s in La Salle.  Currently the electric bill for the La Salle part of the high school goes to Ameren.  Superintendent Steve Wrobleski says doing electric aggregation could save the district 24 thousand dollars a year in electric bills.  The L-P Board is going with a two-year contract.

Integrys also does electric aggregation for the city of Ottawa.  Ottawa was pleased enough by the savings that they’ve signed a contract extension with the aggregation company.

The part of L-P High School that falls in Peru writes their electric bill to the city of Peru.  Wrobleski says they’re happy with the rates they pay to Peru.

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Hall superintendent describes next steps in building a new school

Posted by wlpo on April 24, 2013

It was a long two weeks if you were waiting to get the final vote total for the Hall High School Referendum.  The election was April 9 but because of absentee ballots, the referendum to build a new school couldn’t have been determined until Tuesday afternoon.

School superintendent Mike Struna says there will be a special school board meeting May 7 to canvass the votes and probably accept the referendum which passed by only three votes.

Struna acknowledges that the vote was close so he wants to make sure they build a school within the budget that of which all Hall Township can be proud.

Architects with Healy, Bender and Associates have already started to draw out classrooms and spaces in the building and will be at the May 7 meeting to talk about the difference between general contractors and construction managers.

Struna says they must wait 30 days before the bonds can be issued.  They want to the new school to be ready in August 2015.  It’s estimated to cost $32 million.  Hear more during an interview up at the AM 1220 WLPO news page.

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New indictment for an Ottawa teen

Posted by wlpo on April 24, 2013

          Another felony charge for an Ottawa teen accused of severely beating his mother.  A grand jury yesterday indicted 18 year old Nathan Hawk on a charge of armed violence.  Hawk was already facing three counts of aggravated battery for the same beating that happened last month at their home in Ottawa.

          Police say they found the mother with serious injuries while Hawk was being combative and had to be restrained after a 911 was made from the hosue.  Hawk remains in the La Salle County Jail with his bond set at $1 million.  He also faces felony charges Peoria County.

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Peru City Officials Respond To Water Damage With Action Plan

Posted by wlpo on April 24, 2013

You saw piles of water damaged furniture and home goods along the curbs in Peru.  Many basements had sewage backups from the rain last Thursday.  City officials have heard the complaints and outlined a plan to prevent it from happening again.

Sewers from the west ravine sanitary truck will be televised and cleaned.  City workers will also smoke tested and inspect manholes on Marquette. And then they’ll also TV and clean the sewers along Marquette Road.  They also say they’ll repair the sink hole behind 1819 Plum Street.

City officials will also be talking with people who had water problems.

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Oglesby man accused of posting Conway bomb threat

Posted by wlpo on April 24, 2013

           Bomb threats will be taken seriously especially if you post them on a company’s Facebook page.  A man from Oglesby is in federal custody for allegedly leaving a bomb threat on the Facebook page of Conway Freight last week.

          The posting triggered a six-hour search of the Conway terminal in La Salle, complete with a bomb squad and FBI the night of April 15.

          Rodney Termini was arrested on a federal warrant Tuesday after being pulled over in Oglesby.  He’ll be tried in a federal court.

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Waiting Game Continues In Search For Missing Peru Woman

Posted by wlpo on April 24, 2013

Members of the Conservation Police and Peru River Rescue are back out looking for 62-year old Nancy Greening of Peru.

Conservation Sgt. Robert Frazier says they continue to focus around Route 351 in the Illinois River.  He says tomorrow they will do a more extensive search but after that will call off the search until the river falls closer to flood stage.

With the current the way it was, Frazier doesn’t think Greening could’ve walked very far from her van in any direction.  They hope to do more of a land search for Greening once the water falls even more.

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News Bridges For Utica And Spring Valley In The Works

Posted by wlpo on April 24, 2013

Some major construction money will be spent in the Illinois Valley in the coming years.

Over the next five years, the state plans to do over 300 million dollars of construction work in La Salle, Bureau and Putnam County.  The biggest projects are replacing the Route 178 bridge in Utica and the Route 89 bridge in Spring Valley.  Both of these projects are planned to be built within the next five years.  Both bridge replacements will cost well over 20 million dollars.

Work is expected to start this year on a passenger rail line connecting Chicago to the Quad Cities.  Parts of the line will go through Bureau and La Salle County.  This project is estimated to cost over 220 million dollars.

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African-American Vote Could Decide Gay Marriage In Illinois

Posted by wlpo on April 24, 2013

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) – The leader of the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus says the fate of a measure that would authorize same-sex couples to marry in Illinois may rest with 20 black legislators in the Illinois House.

Rep. Ken Dunkin is the head of the 30-member group. He announced his support for the legislation Tuesday.

The Chicago Democrat says he hopes to convince other black legislators to support the measure. He says the bill may fail if it doesn’t get the yes vote from members of his caucus.

The proposal received Senate approval in February. Supporters say they are working to secure the 60 votes needed to pass the measure in the House.

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Rainfall Delays Illinois River From Falling Below Flood Stage

Posted by wlpo on April 24, 2013

Tuesday’s rain won’t rush the rivers back up but it will slow down the time it takes to go back below flood stage.

The Illinois River in La Salle is just under 31 feet this morning.  It’s actually expected to level out if not rise a little by tomorrow morning before it continues its slow fall back below flood stage.  The Illinois in La Salle is expected to still be five feet above flood stage by the end of the weekend.

In Ottawa, the Illinois River is about a foot and a half above flood stage.  It’s expected to rise about a half foot by tomorrow morning.  The Illinois in Ottawa should fall back below flood stage by Sunday night.

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